Summary and Response to Barbara Kingsolver’s “Called Home”
In “Called Home”, the first chapter of the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year in Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver presents her concerns about America's lack of food knowledge, sustainable practices, and food culture. Kingsolver introduces her argument for the benefits of adopting a local food culture by using statistics, witty anecdotal evidence, and logic to appeal to a wide casual reading audience. Her friendly tone and trenchant criticism of America's current food practices combine to deliver a convincing argument that a food culture would improve conditions concerning health and sustainability. I agree with Kingsolver that knowing the origin of food is an important and healthy benefit of developing a true food culture, but it is impractical to maintain that everyone is able to buy more expensive food. Kingsolver presents a compelling argument for developing a food culture, however this lifestyle change may not be practical or even possible for a poverty-level citizen. The following essay will summarize and respond to Kingsolver’s argument to demonstrate how “Called Home” is a model for novice social scientists.
From the very beginning of the chapter, Kingsolver claims that the majority of Americans are ignorant of the process of food production, and that this ignorance hinders their ability to understand the natural systems of the Earth. To support this claim she introduces multiple instances of anecdotal evidence. One particular example of this anecdotal evidence is the comparison Kingsolver makes between the cashier of the gas station and the appalachian waitress. The gas cashier did not want it to rain even though Kingsolver’s hometown of Tucson, Arizona was ex...
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...College students are the next generation of food consumers just starting to purchase and prepare their own food, setting purchasing habits that will follow them into their lives as they start their own careers. These habits will shape what food is in demand, and therefore what food is produced. Not only do college students hold financial power over the future economy, but they must make the decision of whether to become the next unhealthy generation, that will also indoctrinate their children to accept the level of food quality that is currently labeled as junk food as a standard level quality of food.
Kingsolver, Barbara, Steven L. Hopp, and Camille Kingsolver. "Called Home." Animal, Vegetable,
Miracle: A Year of Food Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. 1-22. Print.
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